JTB, Regina v: HL 29 Apr 2009

The defendant appealed against his convictions for sexual assaults. He was aged twelve at the time of the offences, but had been prevented from arguing that he had not known that what he was doing was wrong. The House was asked whether the effect of the 1998 Act was to abolish the entire doctrine of doli incapax, or only the presumption of its application.
Held: The appeal failed: ‘the trial judge and the Court of Appeal were correct to hold that section 34 abolished the defence of doli incapax.’ The words used in the section were not themselves capable of deciding the issue. The phraseology used in the works preparatory to the 1998 Act and the debates (not entirely consistently) recognised the distinction between abolition the presumption alone and abolishing the defence entirely, and amendments to preserve the defence without the presumption had been rejected.

Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Lord Mance
[2009] UKHL 20, (2009) 173 JP 289, [2009] AC 1310, [2009] 2 Cr App Rep 13, [2009] 3 All ER 1, [2009] Crim LR 581, [2009] 2 WLR 1088
Children and Young Persons Act 1933, Crime and Disorder Act 1998 34
England and Wales
CitedRegina v Gorrie 1918
Salter J directed the jury in the criminal trial of a child that the prosecution had to satisfy them that when the boy who was accused committed the act charged ‘he knew that he was doing what was wrong – not merely what was wrong, but what was . .
Appeal fromRegina v T CACD 16-Apr-2008
The twelve year old defendant had pleaded guilty to several allegations of sexual assault. The judge had ruled that it was not open to him to plead doli incapax. He appealed saying that only the presumption of doli incapax had been abolished, and . .
CitedJM (A Minor) v Runeckles QBD 1984
Mann J considered the conditions for criminal responsibility in a child under 14 and said: ‘I would respectfully adopt the learned judge’s use of the phrase ‘seriously wrong’. I regard an act which a child knew to be morally wrong as being but one . .
CitedJBH and JH (minors) v O’Connell QBD 1981
The defendants were boys of 13 and 11. They broke into a school, stole various items and ‘used 12 tubes of duplicating ink to redecorate the school’. They offered no evidence and submitted that there was no case to answer as the prosecution had not . .
CitedIPH v Chief Constable of South Wales QBD 1987
The 11 year old defendant joined others in smashing the windows of a motor van, scraping its paintwork and pushing it into a post. He appealed his conviction for malicious damage.
Held: The conviction was quashed. There had been no evidence . .
CitedC (A Minor) v Director of Public Prosecutions QBD 30-Mar-1994
The 12 year old defendant held the handlebars of a motorcycle allowing a second boy to try to remove the chain and padlock securing it. He appealed against his conviction.
Held: The presumption of doli incapax for a 10-14 year old child is no . .
CitedC (A Minor) v Director of Public Prosecutions HL 17-Mar-1995
The House considered whether the long established rule of the criminal law presuming that a child did not have a guilty mind should be set aside.
Held: Doli incapax, the presumption of a child’s lack of mens rea, is still effective and good . .
CitedA v Director of Public Prosecutions QBD 1992
The defendant, aged 11, appealed against his conviction of an offence under the Public Order Act 1986, on evidence that he had thrown bricks at a police vehicle. He had then fled the scene.
Held: The conviction was quashed. The fact that the . .
CitedPepper (Inspector of Taxes) v Hart HL 26-Nov-1992
Reference to Parliamentary Papers behind Statute
The inspector sought to tax the benefits in kind received by teachers at a private school in having their children educated at the school for free. Having agreed this was a taxable emolument, it was argued as to whether the taxable benefit was the . .
CitedJackson and others v Attorney General HL 13-Oct-2005
The applicant sought to challenge the 2004 Hunting Act, saying that it had been passed under the provisions of the 1949 Parliament Act which was itself an unlawful extension of the powers given by the 1911 Parliament Act to allow the House of . .
CitedCrown Prosecution Service v P; Director of Public Prosecutions v P Admn 27-Apr-2007
The prosecutor appealed a grant of a stay of a prosecution of the 13 year old defendant as an abuse of process. Reports had indicated that he was unfit to plead. The prosecution contended that, if the court thought P ought not to face trial by . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Children

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.341608